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Flip by Martyn Bedford was released by Walker Books on 7th March. The book is 256 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Alex wakes up thinking that it is a normal day but he soon realises that something is incredibly wrong. He went to sleep in December but has woken up 6 months later...in someone else's body. Not only that but he is also in a completely different town and has no real idea where he is apart from knowing he isn't in London anymore.
Alex has woken up inside the body of Phillip, or Flip as his friends seem to call him. Flip is good looking, popular at school, has more than one girlfriend and is good at sports...everything that Alex isn't or wasn't as the case may be. Piecing the bits of the puzzle back together is far from simple and when Alex finds out what has really happened, his thoughts of getting back into his real body are crushed. Is he destined to be Flip forever?
What I thought
I was really excited when I was asked if I wanted to review this book. The idea of being in someone else's body was a fascinating idea and although this kind of thing has been done before e.g. Freaky Friday but I had a feeling that this one was going to be really different.
The beginning of this book was amazing. I was thrown right in the middle of the story and was hooked from the first page. Waking up in a different body without even realising what is going on to begin with must be completely terrifying and I would have no idea how I would react if it were me in that position. I though Alex dealt with the situation quite rationally and in somewhat of a calm manner for the most part, considering what he was experiencing anyway.
The characterisation in this book was amazing. Very slowly, the mannerisms and traits of each person, Alex and Flip seep through. I loved how I was able to get to know each person at the same time and to be able to distinguish the differences between the two. Although Alex's mind is in the foreground, he has to live Flip's life, which is where it becomes possible to learn about him. Alex does his best to stay true to himself but he also has a hard time when it comes to not enjoying life as someone else.
On becoming Flip, Alex has to form brand new relationships and friendships with people he hasn't even met before now and I can only imagine how hard that must have been. Everyone around him already think they know him so Alex has to try his hardest to be the person they all think he is. I really enjoyed watching Alex try to cope in this situation and watching how much of himself, and not Flip he actually let through for other people to see.
The aspect of psychic evacuations was the most interesting part of Flip. This is something that I hadn't even heard of before but it is clear that the author put in a lot of research into it. The idea that this had happened to many other people before was fascinating and I was glad to see someone else with this brought into the story. Once this had been explained a little bit, I wanted to know more about what it involved and who else this had happened to.
Flip is a fantastic body swap book but with a huge twist that I have never seen done before. Bedford's language and descriptions draw you in and make you feel like you are right there next to Alex, experiencing everything that he is. An amazing book and a must read!